Do you know my crazy, magical story about Karianne Holt and how I discovered her writing? It was about a year ago when I was chatting with Kwame Alexander through my test Skype a day or two before our Skype with my students. Kwame and I chatted for over five minutes and during that time he recommended I read Holt's Rhyme Schemer. I remember scribbling it down on some random piece of scrap paper on my desk. Hours later I reserved a copy from the public library. But I didn't have to read the library copy. Mysteriously in the mail only a few days later came a copy of the book! To this day, I have no idea how it came to me, if it was coincidence or purpose. Whatever it was, I have been a KA Holt fan since.
Then I was lucky enough to get a copy of House Arrest , a novel in verse, and am thankful I took this past holiday to enjoy every morsel of it. I finished it while we were driving home from Vermont yesterday and was glad the tissue box was nearby.
I just wanted to hug (even though he wouldn't want me to) Timothy every minute of the book. I wanted Mom to get a break and have a moment to herself and of course, I just wanted to Levi to be able to breathe easily, say "Brother", sing and dance.
After Timothy steals a wallet so he can buy his baby brother, Levi, his expensive medicine, he is caught and gets put on "house arrest" for a year. During this year his probation officer, James, and his psychologist, Mrs. B, require him to write in a journal. House Arrest is his journal. Written in verse, you want to make sure you not only have tissues by your side, but a chunk of hours because you won't want to be interrupted in your time together with Timothy.
If you are anything like me, you will cheer for Timothy as he opens up to James, expresses his feelings to Mrs. B, starts crushing on his best friend's sister, perseveres in writing to a doctor in Ohio, and gets closer and closer to the end of his house arrest. The last few weeks just got my heart racing so fast (it's still racing thinking about it) and my eyes welled up. As much as I want to talk about the ending, I won't because you should enjoy this gem of a book on your own with no spoilers from me. Then, once you do, please get in touch with me so we can talk about it together.